Colors have more functions in banner design than just to please the eye. A color can communicate a message or set a mood, it can highlight an important element in the banner or it can even lead the user's eye to the call to action text. Designing an effective banner means utilizing colors to your advantage and understanding what they can do for your banner.
Banner Colors Should Blend With the Site
A banner designer has a delicate task. They must design a banner that calls attention to itself but and is not a visual eyesore. Banner ads used in marketing campaigns are subjected to intense scrutiny by webmasters in terms of how they look and how potentially annoying they might be to the user.
Colors and the Global Audience
Colors may well change meanings with the culture. When selecting a color for a particular country it is wise to know what the significance of the color is to that culture.
In the Western culture white is a symbol of purity, brides wear it, it stands for cleanliness. On the other hand if designing a banner for some southern and south eastern Asian cultures it is important to understand white is worn for mourning and symbolizes death.
Purple is a color that is frequently associated with royalty in the US, is associated with prostitution in certain Arab cultures.
Contrast Colors for Readability
Black text on a black background is obviously a bad choice since no one can see what the banner says. On the other hand, light blue text and light grey text might match but the text would not be readable either. Your goal is to have your banner text to stand out from the background and be readable. Explore color choices that are contrast. Statistically white banners have the lowest click through (user response) rates of any, even though a white banner with black text is possibly the most contrasting color possible.
Viewing Color Psychologically
Color has meaning as discussed earlier. Color can also convey warnings, feelings of security, or even convey trustworthiness. For instance on a medical related site, a red banner might not be a good choice as it signifies an emergency or danger in most people's mind. Red banners connected to banks, loan companies, or financial institutions of any sort can be counterproductive as red ink is to be avoided in finances.
Blue green and teal can be relatively good choices for many businesses, they signify positive feelings or states such as security, trustworthiness, and reliability. Other colors may be just as effective but again, color psychology depends not only upon what the banner ad is meant to promote, but upon the culture of the target audience.
Color choices in banner designs are not as simple as they might appear at first glance. Banners must appeal to the culture of the target audience. The text should contrast with the banner background. They should appeal to the user visually and stand out on the site without being annoying or attempting a hostile takeover.